FY 11 Success Rates & Other Stats from the NIH

Sally Rockey posted the latest NIH success rate numbers (& other applicant data) today …

Overall success rates for research project grants fell compared to 2010. 18%
Success rates for new investigators were equal to established investigators submitting new applications. 15%
The representation of women NIH investigators remained the same as in 2010. 29%
Women’s success rates were equal to men for new applications. 15%
Our commitment to supporting the individual investigator remains strong, with R01s and R37s representing a significant percentage of all research grants. 60%
The average size of R01-equivalent grants increased slightly compared to 2010. $408,594
The average size of a center grant fell by 6% compared to 2010. $1,863,037
Number of institutional training grant applications continued to decline, from a peak in 2005. 686

Sally also notes that the success rate (which is not the same thing as a payline or percentile) dropped from 20% to 18% due in part to an 8% increase in the number of applications received (49,592). In addition, fewer applications were funded in FY11 (8,765) than during any of FYs in the decade prior … the same number were funded in FY00 (though that year, the success rate was 32%).

Update: Sally explains the decline in success rate (more applications, less $ appropriated, increasing award size).


  1. Kelli said

    Does the average size of R01-equivalent grants refer to the total cost (direct+indirect over the funded period)? or annual cost?

  2. Irwin Feinberg, MD said

    What is the evidence that a grant funded as a “translational” research grant actually “translated” a basic science finding to a clinical application? What are the total funding awards for “translational” “basic” and “clinical” research?

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